The Let Go

“one of the most popular contemporary artists [who] turns his serious ideas into buoyant aesthetic concepts”
The New York Times

Interdisciplinary artist Nick Cave creates a dance-based town hall—part installation, part performance—to which the community of New York is invited to “let go” and speak their minds through movement, work out frustrations, and celebrate independence as well as community. The reimagined Wade Thompson Drill Hall allows for social gatherings and is activated by “chase,” a multi-colored, 100-foot-long mylar sculpture that glides across the dance floor.

Up Right Performances
On weekday evenings Cave will orchestrate a cast of dancers in his signature Up Right performances, a call to arms where the soundsuits are engaged in a transformative journey to face the forces that stand in the way of selfhood. Practitioners and initiates perform new site-situated choreography by Cave and dancer and choreographer Francesca Harper that celebrates self-determination in a grand procession around “chase,” accompanied by the melodic voices of baritone Jorell Williams and Vy Higginsen’s Sing Harlem Choir with additional musicians.

Installation Hours
During weekends, visitors and community organizations such as yoga practitioners, hula-hoopers, church choirs, and school groups from across all boroughs are invited to express themselves through movement within the installation to music curated by some of New York’s leading DJs played as a soundtrack or mixed live. Participants will be engaged by dancers leading games of Twister, Soul Train lines, a special line dance called “The Let Go” created for the installation, soundsuit invasions, and other dance-based encounters. Also on display in the Armory’s historic rooms are a collection of Cave’s soundsuits, wearable sculptures that create a second skin to conceal race, gender, and class to force the viewer to observe without judgment. Weekend DJs include Ana Matronic (June 9), Johnny Dynell (June 10), Joe Claussell (June 16), JD Samson (June 17), Noise Cans (June 23), Sabine Blaizin (June 24), Sammy Jo (June 30) and Tedd Patterson (July 1).


Artist Talk: The Let Go
Thursday, June 7 at 6:00pm
Tickets: $15

Nick Cave explores the inspirations, ideas, and creative development of his installation with artistic collaborators Bob Faust (Principal and Creative Director, Faust), Nona Hendryx (songwriter and musician), and Ahmaya Knoelle Higginson (Executive Music & Programming Director, The Mama Foundation for the Arts & Sing Harlem Choir). This talk is moderated by Armory Artist-in-Residence Malik Gaines (writer and artist).

Watch the Artist Talk on our YouTube channel.

The Freedom Ball
Thursday, June 14 at 7:00pm-12:00am
Dress to Express Competition at 11:00pm
Tickets: $25 (For ages 21+)

Learn More

Party-goers are invited to don their most outrageous outfit in this high octane evening of fashion, dance, and house music by the legendary Marshall Jefferson and hosted by celebrity night life glitterati. A “dress to express” ball-style competition hosted by a panel of leading tastemakers takes place at 11:00pm with multiple categories and the chance to win a cash prize of up to $20,000.

An Evening of Artistic Responses: The Let Go
Tuesday, June 26 at 7:30pm
Tickets: $45

Songwriter and musician Nona Hendryx, vocalist and artist Helga Davis, dancer and choreographer Francesca Harper, and FLEXN dance pioneer Reggie (Regg Roc) Gray and his company of dance activists the D.R.E.A.M. Ring will respond to the installation in an evening of site-specific performative responses curated by Nick Cave.

A New Commission by Park Avenue Armory

Curated by Tom Eccles

Image: Photo by Da Ping Luo


June 7–July 1, 2018

Up Right Performances
Wednesday–Friday at 8:00pm
Installation open for ticket holders from 7:30pm–11:00pm
Tickets: $35 (General Admission)

Installation Hours
Saturday & Sunday: 11:00am–6:00pm
Live DJs 11:00am–6:00pm
Tickets: $17 (including a $2 facility fee)
Free for Armory Members and Armory IDNYC Members

Wade Thompson Drill Hall

Purchase tickets to four or more events to get the best seats and save 15% (20% for members)!


2018 Season Sponsors:

Park Avenue Armory is grateful to
the Ford Foundation for its generous support
of The Let Go.